In Summary
  • The group of at least 400 has accused the conservancy's land management committee of handling finances poorly and not involving them in decision making.
  • Their spokesman, Denis ole Mako, said they will therefore till the land, plant maize and wheat and put up electronic fences to block the animals' migratory corridor.
  • In response to the claims, the land management committee's secretary, Dan ole Muli, said Seyia Limited will not continue managing the conservancies as GMM sub-contracted it for a year.

The owners of a piece of land that neighbours the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok West have decided to plough it as part of protests against alleged mismanagement, posing threats for wildlife.

The group of at least 400 has accused the conservancy's land management committee of financial mismanagement and not involving them in decision making. It has also complained of poor pay.

Group spokesman Dennis ole Mako said they will therefore till the land, plant maize and wheat and put up electronic fences to block the animals' migratory corridor.

"We are no longer benefiting from the conservation of wildlife because of mismanagement of Naboisho and Mara North conservancies. We have decided to pull out," he said.

One Mr Jackson ole Sairowua said, "We don't have any problem with tourism partners in the conservancies but what is paid is not reaching the community. We are pulling out to seek alternative land use practices which will make us benefit from our land."

EFFECTS

Should it persist, the dispute will affect 11 camps in the area.

The camps are Elephant Pepper, Kicheche, Offbeat Mara, Rekero Homes, Safaris Unlimited, Serian, Karen Blixen, Mara Plains, Offbeat Safaris, Royal Mara Safari and Saruni.

The conservancy has animals including the big five, gazelles, zebras and topis and is adjacent to the Mara River that separates it from Transmara's Olisukut Conservancy.

Wildebeests are occasionally seen crossing over.

FIGHT

The land owners' move comes a day after they drove hundreds of livestock to the conservation in protest against the committee.

On Saturday, the dispute degenerated into a fight between the locals and the conservancy's rangers, who had attempted to block a tractor ferrying building materials to Mara North where youths were building a cow pen.

Wielding clubs, the youths stormed the location where the rangers were holding the tractor.

The argument that ensued quickly generated into a physical fight during which a motorcycle belonging to the rangers was set ablaze.

Those injured were rushed to Aitong health center.

Mara North Conservancy

Cows graze alongside wildebeests at the Mara North Conservancy on September 9 2019. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

KEY ISSUES

Mr Pariken Kererto, a land owner, said they differed with the Mara North and Naboisho conservancy management on several issues, among them the monthly fees paid to them.

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